Not for Innocent Ears, V-VII



Desert Cahuilla Folktales



Bobcat & Coyote



Rabbit & Coyote



Coyote & the River-Flood



Maiden Sundown



Lady Moon


pp. 58-61 what Bobcat ate

Bobcat ate rabbit-soup (p. 58), army-worms (p. 60), and mesquite-cakes (p. 61).

pp. 63-6 Rabbit & Coyote

p. 63

"The coyote went over and looked at the rabbit hanging upside down tied to a tree limb."

{cf. the Tarocchia/Tarock/Tarot card "Hanged Man" (suspended upside-down)}

p. 64

Coyote sought to eat a reflection of the moon, thinking it a mesquite-cake.

pp. 65-6

Closed-eyed Coyote imagined exploding bamboo-stalks (in a fire) to be "special sounds" of "a powerful shaman".

pp. 67-9 Frogs cause a river-flood

p. 67

Coyote ate 3 Frogs.

p. 68

Stranded up a tree by a river-flood (caused by the Frogs), Coyote is dropped by flying Ducks onto a stick.

p. 69

Coyote is fed ducks called to him by songs sung by Bobcat.

p. 70 Maiden Sundown

"she went to sleep. Only the bat came around to watch. He saw her sleeping and wanted her. ... And he went to her at night. He'd talk to her all night long ..., until finally

she let him come into her bed. ... One morning the bat overslept ... and she saw what he was".

{"bats are husbands in folktales, although often the wife does not realize at first that she is married to a bat. " ("BSAF")}

"BSAF" = "Bats in South American Folklore and Ancient Art" BATS MAGAZINE 19.1 (Spring 1991).

p. 71 Lady Moon

"Lady Moon ... walked off at night ... up to the sky. ... Sometimes coyote howls at her, still begging her to return and be his wife."





pp. 73-4 visionary knowledge

p. 73

"plants were not the only way to induce visionary knowledge. Controlled Dreaming was an important activity. ...

p. 74

Cahuilla hunters used controlled Dreaming or powerplant visions to locate game ... .

It is my hypothesis that large desert petroglyphs {including in the Nazca Valley?} visible only from the air in their gigantic entirety were

directional markers {straight lines through the Nazca figures?} for medicine men and women who were using spirit flight as a visionary tactic for making long journeys."

{An additional remark could be that the species of such animal-figures may suggest which animal-species of spirit-helper to summon for an ae:rial trip in the direction indicated (each specific direction having its own spirit-helper). [written Jan 30 2014]}

pp. 74-5 incorporating visionary-spiritual science into the world-view of moderns

p. 74

"We can assume, I think, that spiritual perceptions of the soul are not culturally determined ... because ... {they are} a universal human experience (Furst 1972) common to native American people and many other religions of the world. ...

p. 75

Quite possibly the next step up the evolutionary ladder of Western science and medicine will be the incorporation of the visionary-spiritual ethnoscience of American Indian people."

{Because, however, the social ethics of AmerIndians involveth donations to the poor (potlach, strictly forbidden by the law of the British Empire), it is violently resisted by socially irresponsible capitalist-ploutokrat reactionaries.}

Furst 1972 = Peter T. Furst : Flesh of the Gods. Praeger Publ Co, NY.






Words from the Text



Our [Amer]Indian Heritage



"Song of Their Mother"


pp. 77-9 Cahuilla words











goldenrod (for leaf-tea, against aches)


chia? (tiny black seeds as condiment)


fresh-water lake


native watermelon



the wind

p. 81 books about the plight of AmerIndians in the United States

Mc Luhan : Touch the Earth. 1971.

Brown : Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. 1971.

p. 85 books about California Indians generally

Heizer & Whipple : Californian Indians. 1957

Bean & Heizer : Handbook of North American Indians.Vol. 8 : "California". 1978.

Forbes : Native Americans of California and Nevada. 1969.

p. 104 path with heart

"The soul, itself, was a perceptual reality ... to the Cahuilla ... . ...

The pul was responsible for ... keeping sight of a path with heart to guide ... clanspeople".

pp. 109-17 [reconstructed & paraphrased by Conger Beasley] "Song of Their Mother"

p. 109

"In the beginning there was ...only dense darkness ... . ... White flashes like lightning slashed through it. ...

The first thing they heard was a noise like a giant bee. It was the song of ... DARKNESS.

{In New Guinea, the bee's humming is often said to have been the primordial sound. Amongst Australian aborgines, this bee's humming is imitated by the didjideroo.}

Mukat ... From his heart ... took a lizard and sent it out to eat the darkness. ... Temeyota ... Out of his heart ... pulled a cricket, but the cricket couldn't eat any more darkness than the lizard. ...

p. 110

Mukat took a fiery coal {ember} from his heart and ...

The darkness disappeared. ...

{[Dieguen~o] "The people walked in darkness [until] ... they came out and searched for the light, and ... found it" (AIM&L, p. 157).}

Mukat sang his song, Temeyota shook all over. ...

The fluid was soft;

to dry it they stirred up a Whirlwind. ...

{[Yuma] "From the depth he [Bakotahl] sent up the whirlwind ... . Kokomaht stepped on the whirlwind" (AIM&L, p. 78).}

Mukat drew black earth from his heart, Temeyota white earth. ...

Mukat and Temeyota drew spiders from their hearts. The spiders spread webs in all directions. This time the earth stayed in place. ...

p. 111

Temeyota's people ... had two faces.

{[Cheyenne] "There was a ghost who was immensely tall ... . He had two faces, one looking forward and one looking backward" (AIM&L, p. 439).}

Their toes pointed in two directions.

They had ... webbing between their fingers and toes. ...

{This is likewise said of the Buddha.}

Temeyota believed that when a person died he should return to {life on} Earth and stay {alive} forever. Mukat believed that people had to die {and remain dead} ... .

... said Mukat, "there won't be enough food." "They can eat Earth," said Temeyota. "Then they will eat it up," aid Mukat. "No," replied Temeyota, for by our power we will make it big again. ...

{That the original people to come to Earth all fed by comesting the soil (which consisted of foodstuff), is a distinguishingly Bauddha doctrine.}

p. 112

Temeyota ... waited until his power was strong then he sank below Earth pulling his people with him. Earth and Sky wanted to follow but Mukat knelt down on Earth and pressed his hand against Sky.

Where his fingers rested {against the Sky} There are now five bright stars.

{cf. naks.atra Hasta}

Temeyota's descent shook Earth. Mountains erupted. ... Whenever he changed position he made Earth tremble.

{[Yuma] "Bakotahl ... is under the earth ..., but sometimes he turns over. Then ... the earth trembles ..., and the mountains crack, while flames and smoke shoot out of their summits." (AIM&L, p. 82)}

He knew that if he ever rolled over he would destroy Earth.

{cf. [Maori] Mata-aho, whose overturning must destroy the Earth.}

... where the spirits of the dead could go ... At the end of the road was a gate. Montakwet, the-Man-Who-Never-Dies, was appointed guardian.

Beyond the gate were two hills that banged together, catching wicked souls and crushing them. The spirits turned into rocks, bats and butterflies. ..

This place was known as TELMEKISH.

p. 113

Moon taught People ... Cat's-cradle ... .

{Cf. the title of Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle.}

It was played by twining {looping, not "twining"} string around the fingers and making figures. Moon showed people how to make many figures.

When People died and went east along the road[,] they had to make these figures for Montakwet, the gatekeeper. If they could make the proper figures, they couldn't enter TELMEKISH. ...

{/hei/ 'string figure, cat's cradle; motion of hands and fingers of the dying' -- "string figures ... with the motions of death" (HD, p. 60a, s.v. "hei" -- "H-ERI")}

Moon taught People to marry. ...

Snake was the only one who stayed home all day with Mukat. He lay in the door[way] of Mukat's house ... .

... one fellow always danced on Snake's head. His name was To."

{cf. "the rasa dance in Goloka, which Krishna is said in Brhad-bhagavatamrta to have performed on the head of Kaliya Naga, the thousand-headed cobra" ("VHP").}

p. 114

"Moon ... decided to run away. She asked Beetle and Ant to rub out her tracks".

p. 115

After Frog had ensorcelled Mukat, Mukat "poked ... with his cane making three marks on Frog's back. ...

{[Dieguen~o] Frog poisoned the Maker (VW, p. 148), because (loc. cit.) the Maker with "long stick pointed at both ends ... touched the back of the frog, where it left a long white mark.""}

Next day Mukat fell sick.

He asked Swallow to fetch North Wind. ...

p. 116

He asked Crow to get him snails. Crow found plenty but wouldn't bring any to Mukat. ...

{"raven's errand had no success, for ... he set forth to devour it, and he did not execute the orders given to him" (LB, p. 77).}

He asked Locust to cheer him up ...

Mukat couldn't move. ... He ... died.

Badger dug a hole and lowered the body into it.

Quail carried wood to the pit. Fly made fire ... . ...

Buzzard came back last. ...

p. 117

Coyote made an image of Mukat out of flowers. ... Coyote went to Ocean to get seaweed to hold the image together. ...

One day People ... sent Palmchewat, the Man-Who-Never-Sleeps, to find Mukat's spirit. ... Dust devils obscured the trail; with his stick Palmchewat pushed them away. A glow lit up the horizon."

HD = Mary Kawena Pukui & Samuel H. Elbert : Hawaiian Dictionary. U Pr of HI, Honolulu.

"H-ERI" = "Hawaiian-English Reverse Index"

"VHP" = "Vrindavana the Highest Paradise".

LB = Louis Ginzberg : Legends of the Bible. Konecky & Konecky.


Ruby Modesto & Guy Mount : Not for Innocent Ears : Spiritual Traditions of a Desert Cahuilla Medicine Woman. new edn. Sweetlight Bks, Arcata (CA), 1986. (App. "C" was added for the new edn in 1986, to the original edn in 1980.)

[Ruby M. (the informant) had (p. 29) an "Indian name, Nesha, which means "woman of mystery.""]